Re: Good Afternoon for Democracy

From: Charlie Strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Wed Apr 18 2007 - 10:10:33 CDT

Alan thanks so much.
What happens in California sets the tone for the nation. Few states
are large enough that the vendors can't afford to walk away and not
do business. If someday CA forces open source then we all benefit.

On Apr 17, 2007, at 11:48 PM, Alan Dechert wrote:

> Most of you are on the OVC announcements list, but just in case,
> and for
> posterity, here is what I wrote today:
>
> _______________
> Dear Friends of Open Voting:
>
> I wrote that this was a good afternoon for democracy. Actually,
> maybe it
> was a GREAT day! Our efforts to bring about transparency in the vote
> counting process were successful on two fronts -- San Francisco and
> Sacramento. AB 852 won the vote 5-2 in the Assembly elections
> committee.
> The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted against buying a new
> Sequoia
> (with DRE) voting system, and decided to stay with the existing
> optical scan
> system with the AutoMARK ballot marking device.
>
> I was in the Capitol Building all afternoon. I testified for AB
> 852, using
> my Diebold voting machine as a prop. "See the InfraRed port? This
> machine
> is capable of communicating with a laptop across the room. Do you
> want to
> vote on a machine like this? This machine was certified but all
> the testing
> is a big secret." I had a lot of ammunition -- didn't need half of
> it.
>
> Assemblymember Krekorian said that Secretary of State Debra Bowen
> supports
> the principles behind AB 852. This is a little short of official
> endorsement, but what a difference a year makes. Last year,
> Secretary of
> State McPherson fought our bill (AB 2097 carried by the Jackie
> Goldberg --
> the great, but termed-out Jackie Goldberg) all the way.
>
> Then all the Microsoft shills showed up to testify against the
> bill. No one
> said, "I work for Microsoft," but they may as well have had "Microsoft
> shill" tattooed on their foreheads. It was appalling. Their
> testimony was
> appalling. "This will hurt business. This will stifle innovation is
> election technology. This will make the voting system unsafe."
>
> Guess what? We don't conduct elections to create profit centers for
> business; we don't need innovative vote counting methods; computer
> code must
> stand up to scrutiny in order to be secure. That's the truth.
> Today, the
> truth prevailed. The truth doesn't always prevail, but today it
> did in
> Sacramento.
>
> Last year, our bill was held in the Appropriations committee. This is
> another big difference. Mark Leno, one of our co-authors on AB
> 2097, is now
> chair of this committee. Before I knew this, I had already relaxed
> the
> schedule for disclosure so it would not run into the problems we
> had last
> year in this committee. We have a much better chance this year in
> Appropriations. Assuming success there, we'll go to a floor vote
> in late
> May, then on to the Senate.
>
> The actions of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (SF BoS)
> today may
> have been even more significant. You may remember that the SF BoS
> said they
> wouldn't approve the Sequoia contract without language in the contract
> requiring full public disclosure of their technology.
>
> http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/February.
> 2007/0131.html
>
> We are working on getting "open source," or, at least, public
> disclosure to
> be part of any contract for a voting system with the City of San
> Francisco.
> This could have an impact before our proposed state law would take
> effect.
>
> Thank you again for your support. I don't think there is anything
> important
> I can do by myself. Success for all of these accomplishments is
> due to our
> supporters.
>
> Alan Dechert
> http://openvoting.org
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> OVC-discuss mailing list
> OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net
> http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss

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Received on Mon Apr 30 23:17:08 2007

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